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Do You Need a Healthcare or Medical Power of Attorney?

Posted on Tue May 21, 2019, on Medical Power of Attorney Living Will

Estate Attorney Cherry Hill, NJ

Most people recognize the benefit of planning for your death. Planning means your estate distribution and funeral reflect your wishes. But what happens if you become incapacitated and can’t act for yourself? Who works in your best interest if you have dementia? You need a healthcare agent.  Do You Need a Healthcare or Medical Power of Attorney; Yes!

What Is a Healthcare Agent?

Your healthcare agent is someone you trust to make medical decisions when you can’t make them for yourself. Most often, the legal document that identifies this person is a “healthcare power of attorney.” When deciding your healthcare agent, it should be someone who can assume this responsibility and someone who will act in your best interest in healthcare.

What If You Already Have a Power of Attorney?

A general power of attorney is also an advance directive, but it gives the person other provisions. You may have a financial power of attorney who can pay your bills or handle financial matters when you can’t be present. This power of attorney is valid when you are overseas or otherwise unable to be physically present. It may apply in cases not related to healthcare. The medical power of attorney only applies when you are medically incapable of making decisions. Typically, two separate documents to identify these roles.

Why Doesn’t a Living Will Apply?

Living wills typically apply only if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. What happens if you are in an accident and incapable of communicating while you’re injured? You need your healthcare agent to act for you. Living wills would not apply in that situation. However, a living will often combines a healthcare power of attorney into the legal document that gives your healthcare agent the ability to act in many different matters.

Get the Guidance of an Estate Lawyer

Don’t assume that your spouse or child will be able to take on these matters if you become incapacitated. Many rules govern who has access to your medical information that may make it legally challenging for someone to be your agent. If your spouse and children disagree on your care, it could also be challenging.

Your healthcare power of attorney and living will can be broad and cover as many situations as possible, but it also could be constrained to the decisions that a person can make. You may grant provisions. You may also want to give your agent guidance in your living will or in a separate document. It’s essential to work with an estate attorney in Cherry Hill, NJ from Klenk Law to ensure that your document will stand up if you are incapacitated.

Do You Need a Healthcare or Medical Power of Attorney?

Yes, and we can help you.

Tags:

Living Will, Medical Power of Attorney

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